Marchers seek democracy for Christchurch

Last updated 18:21 01/12/2012
Protest
DEAN KOZANIC/ Fairfax
PRO DEMOCRACY: About 1000 people gathered in Latimer Square, Christchurch, to protest against the government.

Relevant offers

Politics

Key talks housing while Little backs small business McCully slates Russia, but shies away from attacking Putin Duncan Garner: Driven to distraction - the issue is safer roads, not foreigners Vernon Small: RMA reforms no long-term solution Labour's long-standing ties with Ratana in focus Arthur Taylor claims John Key's election as MP unlawful NZ First MPs make most of summer lull Better Budget deficit renews Government surplus hopes Greens use Ratana meeting to attack John Key Len Brown cool on light rail in Auckland transport plan

Traffic was stopped or redirected as about 1000 marchers took to Christchurch streets to protest against the lack of democracy in the city.

The march was organised to protest against the suspension of Environment Canterbury elections, the demolition of heritage buildings, school closures, and government acquisition of land in the CBD, amongst other issue dogging the rattled city.

Protesters marched from Latimer Square to Cranmer Square, shouting, “Our city, our say!” and “What do we want? Democracy! When do we want it? Now!”

Some protesters painted portraits of Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee dressed as Kate Sheppard to remind him of the suffragette movement in Canterbury.

Organiser Wayne Hawker said the suspension of democracy in Christchurch had national implications.

“If they can do that to us, a major metropolitan, they can do that anywhere in the country.

“This is our city and we are going to have our say.”

Christchurch City Councillor Glenn Livngstone hosted the rally, and speakers included Labour MP Lianne Dalziel, Green MP Eugenie Sage, and Act Party member Gareth Veale.

“Democracy’s been shut down,” said marcher Marney Ainsworth, of Bryndwyr.

“All that this government is doing is about centralising powers into a dictatorship.

‘‘It’s a benign dictatorship, but history and overseas shows this doesn’t last.

‘‘It’s being done by a small group of people in the interest of a small group of people. We all need to be out here taking a stand.”

Another marcher, Mike Davey, said school closures had also affected his family because the school his grandson had been about to start at, Kendal Primary School, had been slated for closure.

“We need to bring back democracy for Ecan because we need to have a say about what’s happening to our water.”

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content